I was so enthused to read the following research study on the benefits of following an ALCAT Food and Chemical Sensitivity protocol after having an ALCAT Test run. Whether you are fatigued, stressed, having poor digestion, focus or inflammation- the ALCAT test can assist you to get at "what is eating at you". Contact me today to discuss having your own test done and begin walking the road to better health.
Nancy Cohen RDN LDN
Effect of Alcat-Based Food Elimination on Inflammatory Markers, Body Composition, and Medical Symptoms
Research was conducted by Lukaszuk J, Shokrani M, Hoppensteadt J, and Umoren J in the spring of 2015 at Northern Illinois University on the Alcat test (Cell Science Systems- CSS).
Only CSS was aware of who was in the placebo and who was in the treatment group. Cell Science Systems provided the treatment group subjects ALCAT food sensitivity reactive food lists. The placebo group were given a false list of foods to avoid. Researchers provided subjects guidance as how to follow the elimination diet for 1 month.
The treatment group (n=87) received the correct list of foods to avoid, meaning what was in the red, orange, yellow, or blue columns. (Red = Severe Sensitivity; Orange = Moderate Sensitivity; Yellow = Mild Sensitivity; Blue = None, Mild, Moderate or Severe). The placebo group (n=46) received a false list of foods to avoid. Neither the researchers nor the subjects knew what group they were in. Upon completion of the study, all participants were given their correct ALCAT reactive foods list.
Subjects followed a four-week elimination diet based on their ALCAT results. Blood samples, body composition, and medical symptoms questionnaire (MSQ) were completed day 1 and day 30. A Disease Symptom Inventory (DSI) was completed to see who would qualify for the study; the entire DSI consists of 20 questions. Subjects had to have a “3” (a somewhat severe effect) on at least two of the DSI questions to qualify to be in the study.
Researchers set out to recruit individuals with signs of inflammation present, not individuals who were healthy and symptom-free. For example, the initial DSI revealed individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), eczema, anxiety, and other signs that they may be having food intolerance issues.
After 30 days on the elimination protocol, the treatment group experienced a statistically significant decrease in serum amyloid A levels (SAA) from day 1 to day 30. Conversely inflammation and SAA scores increased for the placebo group. The results were statistically significant at the 0.001 level. These remarkable results indicate that there is a significant decrease in inflammation when an individual follows their ALCAT elimination diet and avoids reactive foods. The study utilized the SAA level as it can be considered a more sensitive marker for systemic inflammation than C-reactive protein (CRP).
Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) also decreased during the study. When restricting any type or number of foods, an individual will be more aware of what they are eating, caloric intake will be reduced, and BMI will be expected to decrease. Although both groups in the current study lost weight, the treatment group had a much more significant BMI decrease then did the placebo group.
After the initial DSI was completed, an MSQ was administered looking at head, ears, eyes, nose, throat, overall wellbeing, energy level, joint pain, and basically how one feels overall. Individuals in the treatment group felt significantly better from day 1 to day 30. The placebo group had the benefit of feeling better but not nearly to the extent that the treatment group reported.
One particular individual with lung nodules of unknown origin ended up in the treatment group. MSQ at the beginning of the study was 160, a very high score that reflects a multitude of symptoms. At the end of the study his MSQ was 11, demonstrating that he felt exceptionally better. The individual took his ALCAT results, laminated them, and took them to the grocery store, to restaurants, to any place in which he was going to eat.
When he returned to the doctor’s office his physician asked what he was doing because his nodules were receding. He informed his physician that he was following the ALCAT elimination diet; the physician instructed him to continue what he was doing as the nodules were diminishing.
The study also looked at myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme used by immune cells (neutrophils, monocytes) during microbiocidal activity. Levels of MPO decreased in both the treatment and placebo groups. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an inflammatory cytokine that is supposed to “drive the boat” in the sense that where it goes, everything else follows. Although it did increase in the treatment group, it increased considerably more in the placebo group.
The treatment group had a more significant decline in body fat than the placebo group though both groups lost weight.
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